49ers Urged to Sign Ex-All Pro Coming off Achilles Injury

It has been three injury-plagued years since Tre’Davious White was at his peak in Buffalo, coming off an All-Pro year in 2019, when he led the league with six interceptions, and followed by a Pro Bowl appearance in 2020. Since then, White has played just 21 games in three years, which is why, as winter has turned to spring here in 2024, he remains unsigned. But if ESPN has its way, the 49ers should change that.

The 49ers are being urged to add CB Tre'Davious White to shore up their cornerback depth.

In an article titled, “2024 NFL free agency: Best team fits for 20 unsigned players,” analyst Bill Barnwell noted highlighted White as one of the best players still without a contract in the NFL, and tabbed the 49ers as the best fit.

It would be an iffy proposition, but considering the 49ers’ salary restraints, White could be a gamble worth taking. He missed the bulk of his games in 2021 and 2022 after he suffered a torn ACL, but appeared ready for a strong comeback last year, when he tore his Achilles tendon in Week 4.

Before that, he allowed a quarterback rating of just 70.6, recording an interception and two passes defended.

Tre’Davious White Can Still Play — When Healthy

So there is still some hope that White can be a top-shelf cornerback. The Achilles injury is scary, and some players never really recover even after a good rehab, but White could be worthy of the risk for the 49ers.

Here’s how Barnwell made the case for White to be signed: “Even given the injuries, White’s performance still generally held up by the numbers. While he allowed sub-60 passer ratings during the 2019 and 2021 campaigns, he held opposing quarterbacks to a 75.6 passer rating on throws in his direction in 2022 and a 70.6 mark in the four-game stint before the Achilles tear last season.

“He will nearly be a full season removed from the injury by the start of the year, so there’s a chance he’ll be able to play something resembling a full season in 2024.”

One problem the 49ers could have in chasing White is that he is already lined up to visit with other franchises. He will have a meet-and-greet with the Giants and Titans this week, after already having met with the Rams. There will be competition.

49ers Need More Cornerback Depth

In making the case for the 49ers to sign White specifically, Barnwell pointed to uncertainty in the defensive backfield. Charvarius Ward is the top-line corner, and Deommodore Lenoir is a solid No. 2.

But Ambry Thomas, a third-round pick in 2021, struggled when given an opportunity. He had a Pro Football Focus season grade of 61.5, which was 75th out of 127 corners in the league.

“San Francisco is set with its top two corners Deommodore Lenoir and Charvarius Ward, but the third spot is a bit of a question mark. We saw teams pick on Ambry Thomas throughout the 2023 season, leading the Niners to bench him in the Super Bowl and play Logan Ryan in the slot. A miscommunication between Ryan and Ward helped free up Mecole Hardman on the touchdown that won the Super Bowl,” Barnwell wrote.

The 49ers badly missed Jimmie Ward, who moved from safety to slot corner in 2022 but left for the Texans, last season. Lenoir could take on that role, but only if the 49ers have a quality corner to put opposite Ward.

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